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I am looking to monitor memory and cpu usage on the box every minute or so. Any recommended ways on doing this?

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Are you looking for monitoring/reporting/trending/graphing or more like "WTF happened at 3PM"? For the latter case: I would suggest atop as explained in my answer on – gertvdijk Feb 6 '13 at 20:23
Thank you! atop seems like the right choice – moorecats Feb 6 '13 at 20:45

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Nagios for monitoring/alerting and graphite for trending are my favourites for this.

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